If you’re a high school or college student who’s looking for a job, chances are quite low that you’ve got the experience necessary to immediately transition into the workforce with full confidence. There’s plenty of things that you should do before putting on your uniform – making a resume, going to the job interview, mandatory training and so on – and all of these things can be a little challenging for someone with no experience.
In this article, you’ll learn the basics about what to put on your resume, preparing for an interview – and all the essential odds and ends of getting your first job.
What is a resume? Resume for students with no job experience.
Usually, resumes are written by professionals who are looking to transition from their old job into a new one – which means that they already have job experience, to begin with. But as a student, you’ll most likely have zero experience in any workforce, to begin with. Don’t worry though, as this isn’t a bad thing. You just need to be creative on what you put in your resume.
At its heart, a resume is a collection of all relevant experiences that an applicant (in this case you) has for a position they are applying for. So aside from learning how to draft a resume, it’s important to also know where you’re dropping it off. Having a prerequisite set of experience and skills will make your chances of being accepted much higher than others.
Jobs for college students
That means doing a very thorough search on where and what fields near you are offering positions and vacancies. However, working as a student has its own set of caveats – your hours will most likely be less than a full-time worker, and your salary may be lower (as is some places have laws that specify the exact amount of wages students can get.)
Here is a list of things that you’ll need to keep in mind when you’re starting to look for a job:
- The time you can afford to spend at your workplace. Is this something that you can reasonably devote enough hours to after the end of your school days?
- Travelling takes time, and if your part-time job is too far, you might exhaust yourself too much, and have your academics suffer as a result.
- Laws and regulation. Not all places are equal when it comes to the rights of student workers. A quick internet search about local laws governing working students in your area goes a long way.
Remember: while you’re still looking for a job, your first and most primary concern should be your academics! So don’t get too caught up in your job. School should always be your priority.
What to include in a resume
As we’ve mentioned, making a resume is listing down everything you’ve done that can be as helpful as possible in you taking the job. This requirement is slightly less strict if you’re taking a job that doesn’t require a lot of specialization (like something clerical or service-oriented) but is the standard when it comes to getting something related to your interests or field of study.
Here are the barest essentials that you need in a resume:
- Contact information
- Your goals in applying for the job
- A brief summation of your relevant experience (preferably in list form)
- Education (if a college student)
- Other information (such as soft skills and references)
Ideally, you should keep your resumes short and to the point – expanding on these points is what preparing for an interview is for. Give your potential employer a brief overview of what you can bring to their workplace. In short, answer the question: why should you hire me?
How to write a cover letter for a resume
If you want to go the extra step, you might want to consider adding a cover letter to your resume. Cover letters are a more descriptive form of your resume, allowing you to add a personal (but still professional) flair to your application. However, you cannot send a cover letter in place of a resume – the two must always come together.
- Cover letters are basically a greeting. They’re usually brought up as good interview questions when you manage to get that stage in the application process, so make a good impression!
- They should state why you’re applying for the job, and elaborate on why you’d be a good fit.
- Give the impression that you’re thoroughly researched your employer and believe that your qualifications make you a good candidate.
Keeping those specifics in mind should be enough for a basic cover letter, but if you have any more relevant experience or things to include, there are plenty of resources out there that can guide you on to craft one.
Writing websites for students
If you’re feeling a little queasy about writing a resume or a cover letter, a writing service RewardedEssays can help a great deal – especially if you’re a busy high school or college student. While most of their services can revolve around helping with homework or other similar tasks, a writing service is very useful when it comes to making a resume – and if you want to go the extra mile, your personal portfolio!
A writing service can help you create your LinkedIn resume (a necessity in today’s job market,) draft your portfolio (if you’re looking for a creative field to work in,) or just help polish what you’ve already made yourself. Some even give you tips and run-throughs of what questions you can expect in a job interview, which can be a lifesaver to those who haven’t encountered it before.
Making a resume may be complicated for students, but it isn’t an impossible feat – and certainly is a skill that will prove useful once they’ve left school. With a firm grasp of the basics in mind and the knowledge to back it up, any student can become a promising candidate in the profession that they choose to enter.